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Committing to D3 school

cal0302cal0302 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
edited September 2011 in Athletic Recruits
My son is trying to decide whether to play D3 soccer at a small college or attend a big school and just play club or intramurals. He's unsure of his major, as well as what kind of college experience he wants, which is making the decision harder for him. The coach at his top D3 choice has been recruiting him (but not pressuring) and asking what it will take to make his decision. From our contacts so far, the coach seems like a genuine nice guy who cares about his players. My question is: how much does he tell the D3 coach about his decision process? Does he tell the coach he's not sure what kind of school he wants? Should he ask about things like how much playing time he might get, which may influence his decision? Does he tell the coach nothing at all and just make him wait? My son is worried that the coach will think he doesn't care, isn't really interested, is leading him on, or is too immature to make up his mind. Having never been through this process before, we're not sure how to advise him.
Post edited by cal0302 on
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Replies to: Committing to D3 school

  • cal0302cal0302 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I forgot to add, he's a senior and has been accepted at both schools he's interested in.
  • ShesOnHerWayShesOnHerWay Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    I always find that stating the "worry" ahead of time will diffuse the situation. So have your son call the D3 coach and say that he's concerned that the coach "will think he doesn't care, isn't really interested, is leading him on, or is too immature to make up his mind" and that is why he hasn't discussed things with him. Then he can truly have a discussion with the coach. I'd say have him be honest; put things on the table. How can he make a decision if he doesn't know the answers to his questions? Since he's already accepted, he isn't jeopardizing his admission. Nothing to lose in having a frank discussion.
  • hockeymomofthreehockeymomofthree Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    D3 coaches can not promise a spot, they can tell you if they think your son will make the team.
    Have you talked to the coaches? When D went for interviews the coaches asked me to sit on for a bit so I could ask the Mom questions. They were all very nice about answering my questions about school work, labs, practice vs school work etc.

    I also used the "broken leg" question with D> would you still like the school if you had a broken leg?<
  • FauxNomFauxNom Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    This may be way more than you need, but it's a list of questions I picked up on a soccer site (possibly aimed more at scholarship athletes). Some of them may be things your son wants to know, and talking about them could be a good way to get to know the coach a bit:

    -What is the in-season time commitment?
    -How much time in the off-season for conditioning and practice?
    -Can I play another sport?
    -Is there academic support and tutoring available in and out of season?
    -What is the school’s policy on missed classes because of sport participation?
    -What percentage of players stay in the program all four years?
    -What percentage of players graduated in four or five years?
    -How many roster spots are available next year?
    -How many freshman recruits are you trying to bring in?
    - What positions are you looking to fill?
    - What position are you recruiting me for?
    - How many others are you recruiting at that position?
    -Where do (I) stand on your recruiting depth chart? (You want to know if they really want you or just hope to get you for depth purposes.)
    -What types of travel accommodations are provided, i.e. food, transportation, and lodging?
    -Does the school underwrite all expenses or do athletes have to raise funds or spend out of pocket? (Pertains mainly to spring trips.)
    -Are there plans for facility expansion and construction in the next few years?
    -Are employment or work study opportunities available in the athletic department?
    -Do the dining facilities accommodate athletes who play or practice late?
    -Can athletes get first choice of class sections that meet at non-practice times, helping to avoid conflicts? (This is very important).
    -What type of summer time playing opportunities will be available?
  • casey75casey75 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    "Should he ask about things like how much playing time he might get, which may influence his decision?"

    I would think it would be best to decide on what type of school he thinks would be the best fit, independent of the chance to play D3 vs. intramural. If he gets into school and then no longer plays sports due to whatever reason (injury, lack of interest, etc.) it is important he is comfortable in the school. If you go to hsbaseballweb. com you can find a lot of advice regarding making this type of decision that would apply to all sports.
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,790 Senior Member
    Bump for new opinions
  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    DIII coaches can promise a spot. The DIII's that are highly competitive definitely spend lots of money and time recruiting specific athletes. They bring them to campus for OV's and encourage them to apply ED. An admissions's rep is not going to give academic latitude (which they do) to an applicant who is not being asked to become part of the student body for a specific reason (in this case to immediately contribute to the team). One NESCAC coach told us outright that every single member of his team is recruited and while they are required to hold a tryout, the recruits are the ones who make up the team and only rarely does someone "make" the team via the tryout.
  • imafanimafan Registered User Posts: 252 Junior Member
    Yes this is true. Son was heavily recruited at Trinity for baseball. He was promised admission - coach would use a slot for him as his grades and ACT score were sub Trinity standard. Son ended up committing elsewhere for scholarship $ (D1) because the only $ at DIII is need based. At 53K a year, that's a hard but to swallow.
  • momof2010momof2010 Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    Agree with Shesontheway.. Honesty and good communication is always best. On the phone even better. Bottom line is how important is playing to your son? If he is being recruited by this school than it sounds like he will play. D1 even the club level is no guarantee he will play.
  • maidenMommaidenMom Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    I have questions related to this DIII recruiting issue with my D. It is all becoming stressful to me so I can only imagine how she feels. D has three OVs this fall and from what I can tell about the communications she has had (we have previously toured and emails), they are all very interested stating, "you are a top recruit for us".
    I do think the official visits may narrow her choice which would help, but we still have this nagging problem of D wanting to apply ED to a different school that only has club in her sport (which she is okay with b/c she loves the school). None of the four schools would be an automatic admission for her. She is in range on all academics, but they all have around 20% admission rates (give or take). I think she will definitely be "in" on any of the LAC DIII schools providing the coaches really are as interested as they seem, but I think after the visits, they will be pushing for her to apply ED there which would mean she cannot apply ED to her first choice (currently). Of course, the non DIII school will be the hardest to get into without coach support.
    Hoping one of the three LAC's totally win her over and we are done, but if that doesn't happen, and she still wants to apply ED to the non-DIII school, how can she still keep the DIII's "on the line"? Financial aid/merit/needs all an issue so I do hope that I can use this as a realistic way to wait for her to apply ED at the DIII's. She only needs to get past 12/15 for ED answer.
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    maidenMom,

    My two cents....It is normal for parents to feel anxious and "the pressure" this time of year. I know I was going out of my mind but I had to hold it together for the sake of my son. My wife and I had never been through athletic recruiting before, and we may be going through it again next year if my middle son decides he wants to play a sport in college. Truthfully, I would let your daughter make these college decisions, and not get so worked up over what might happen. Let things play out as your daughter wants them to play out. Every couple of weeks, ask her if she wants to sit down to review priorities, timelines and contigencies after each OV. Remind her this is her "gig", and if she has any questions to let you know. This is your daughters future 4 years, and she needs to take ownership of the situation. If your daughter comes to you for advice then discuss her feelings or issues from a consultative perspective. I know it is so hard to try to step back and not let parental emotions take over, but it is real important for your daughter to know you are there for support but ultimately it is her decision. Both of you will be much better for it now and in the long run. Remember, she will be making her own decisions (without you) next Fall.

    Best of luck, and trust your daughter to make the best decision for her. When this all over, you'll be wondering why you were so stressed out. I know I did. How I got thorugh this without an ulcer or kidney stones is unbelievable.
  • maidenMommaidenMom Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    ahhhhh - actually, this is very much her gig and decision. My worry is that there are things I/we don't understand and I would be remiss if I didn't become as educated as possible in how it works. She has already narrowed down from 10 schools on her own choosing - I provided the means to visit them (at her request) now her OVs are solo and decision hers entirely - I am more concerned about time line and not burning bridges and things she can go to the visits armed with - or just know in general. (it would make me feel better to know) Maybe she doesn't stress so much!!!
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    maidenMom,

    Sorry if my comments went to far. From your thread, it seems like you are the one doing all the worrying for both of you...that concerns me. You've done all the things a good parent can do....show her how to research colleges and athletic programs, initiate communication and follow up with coaches, etc, etc.... As a parent, I found my greatest value as an overall advisor and researcher of scholarships, Financial programs & aid. Once we taught our son the recruiting/admissions process, he did the rest with some friendly reminders from time to time. You and your daughter have done all the ground work and home work. Try not to worry too much. Once she goes on these visits, most likely she will know where she wants to go. It actually gets alot easier until you have to write the first check.

    "how can she still keep the DIII's "on the line"? - Just keep sending or calling them with an update on your daughters decision or progress. D3s deal with this all the time, so they have to compensate by recruiting larger numbers than roster positions. They know they will lose some recruits to D1s or other D3s.

    You are correct that if she needs admissions help to one of the D3s, coaches will want her to apply ED as a way to secure a recruit. You can absolutely expect that. If your daughter does that, you'll want to get a guarantee that she will be on the roster. If one of the schools is an EA that may be an option as well as to apply to her ED.

    Since all her schools are around 20% admission rate, it may be best to find a fifth school to "play the numbers" if she goes RD on all of her schools. Also keep in mind that some universities publish an overall acceptance rate, however individual colleges with the University can be higher or lower. We found out last year at my son's orientation that the University overall was 18% but his specific college was a 7% admission rate. The Dean went on to tell us there was another 7% not admitted that had almost the same credentials as the 7% that were accepted. It is ridiculously competitive out there, that is why I think applying ED to her #1 school makes total sense.

    "Of course, the non DIII school will be the hardest to get into without coach support" - Agreed. If it is a D1, then your daughter is probably not high on the recruiting list. Most D1 schools that I know have their recruits pretty much locked up this time of year. Your daughter may want to ask that direct question to the coach, so she knows where she stands and she can move forward with other decisions.


    Best of luck!
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    I'm with Fenway here. D3s use all their "slots" on ED. If they don't fill theor roster then. or your daughter is a fabulous "must-have" they can give a "tip" for ED2 or RD. But then it's all up to admissions, who don't necessarily like accepting more athletes than they have to.

    It depends how many other "favors" the coach has asked for.

    So if no likely letter is coming, she very well could lose her chance at a D3 that is highly selective.

    To quote myself again "It's a jungle out there" On the other hand, if being rejected by a top 10 LAC, but accepted by number 25-50 is the worst thing that ever happens to you, I think you can still have an excellent life-and college experience.
  • sandiego4866sandiego4866 Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    "Financial aid/merit/needs all an issue"

    Is this really going to just be your daughter's decision?

    My observation is with $$ an issue, maybe it shouldn't be.

    Among the DIII schools recruiting her, is there a best choice
    when it comes to "financial aid/merit".

    "None of the four schools would be an automatic admission for her."
    You might want to give a lot of weight to the idea that recruited DIII athletes
    don't just get priority admissions. They also end up with priority financial
    aid.

    Look there are as many ways of parenting as there are parents. In helping my daughter make a decision between DI & DIII athletic options we told her that money was a top consideration from the beginning.

    It helped her prioritize her choices.

    Her decision was easier with that road-map.

    She made a great choice for her and for us, her parents.

    She is now a happy freshman at a great university.
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